Trying out ‘Explain Everything’

The bane of my life when trying to make greater use of technology is when students insist on handwriting things. (This is especially difficult when the keener ones start sending me hundreds and hundreds of timed exam responses).

I know – damn them and their keenness . . .

The key problem is that it means I, essentially, have two different systems operating. I’ve been trying to use Edmodo as a storehouse for all typed assessed work – and crucially to keep track of advice and guidance offered – and the handwritten stuff just is not represented there in the same way.

Considering the whole point of this technology drive was to streamline things, this is a pretty blooming silly state of affairs.

I was pondering this when ploughing my way through a couple of responses yesterday – answers that Year 13 pupils had timed themselves writing, scanned in and then emailed to me – and I thought how useful it would be if they could hear and see me giving feedback.

I’d seen a couple of people expounding the virtues of Explain Everything for giving feedback to pupils and I thought it would be worth a try. So, what you will see below is my feedback on two A2 exam responses in real time – as I read them. What I’d usually be doing would be annotating in the margins with these comments and it struck me that I was actually giving a little more feedback than I would usually be able to if I was writing – purely in terms of time.

In my email to the girl, I also attached our A2 assessment sheets that we always include stapled to written work – so she got some specific AO related comments and targets to improve, alongside my murmurings.

I have to stay, I found this an interesting experience – likewise, looking back on the video gave me an opportunity to review the way in which I judge work and what, in particular, I seem to pick up on when reading.

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